The success of producing perfect aluminium extrusions relies on the quality of the die or mould that is used. The extrusion process involves heating an ingot of mill finish aluminium until it becomes malleable enough to be forced through a die from the pressure supplied by a ram fitted to an hydraulic press. Individual dies are accurately made to precise measurements and designs to suit the various projects they are required for. Storage of the dies can enable repeat batches of components to be manufactured without the expense of creating a new die. However, storage of a die might not always be appropriate.
Wear and Tear
Some extruded aluminium components are produced in batches that are relatively large. With the repeated actions of the manufacturing process and the high pressures involved it is inevitable that the dies can eventually become damaged by wear and tear. Small scratches or fissures can develop in the dies causing the surface of the aluminium extrusions to become roughened. In extreme cases the dies can even distort or break. Once the quality of the aluminium extrusions is noticeably in decline new dies have to be recast. When producing smaller batches of aluminium extrusions the dies have not been used often enough to suffer any damage and can be stored between manufacturing phases enabling repeat, cost-effective batches to be made at a later time.
Some dies are unsuitable for storage particularly after completing large orders. Complex cross-sectional profiles can include slender sections that can become more prone to damage with prolonged use. These sections are more likely to break during excessive handling. Large batches of aluminium extrusions that need to be in perfect condition to maintain an aesthetic appearance can become inferior after an extended use of the dies.
Die Management Procedures
Maintaining and storing dies that are in perfect condition when they are required for a repeat batch is made easier when a detailed catalogue is kept of the factors that can affect the performance and reliability of the dies. These can include the number of manufacturing runs and the quantities involve, the type and weight of the aluminium and the temperatures. Complex data patterns can be analysed to ensure that every die is in an excellent condition. At Edmo Limited we only use dies that are guaranteed to produce perfect aluminium extrusions with every batch.